Genius of Immortality

Isidore Konti (American, b. Austria, 1862–1938)
Dimensions26 × 16 inches
CreditGift of Richard Kaeyer, 2001
Accession Number2001.04

Isidore Konti was born in Hungary and studied in Austria, where he became a skilled practitioner of the classicizing style popular in the late nineteenth century. Idealized, allegorical figures were his favorite subjects. Some of his earliest works in the United States were temporary monumental sculptures for the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York.  

Konti’s international reputation was also based on smaller works such as this. During his lifetime, the Genius of Immortality, with it sensuous and sinuous lines and tactile surfaces, was one of his most admired sculptures. The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a copy in 1916, and the next year another was lent to the Detroit Institute of Art by one if its major donors. Overseas, the Italian government owned a copy. Like many of Konti’s subjects, the poetic title of the Genius is not directly narrative, but suggests a variety of allegorical associations.  The Hudson River Museum owns two plaster models for the Genius, used in the production process, as we as this bronze.